Career Development

Career Planning

Nursing Major Career Planning Options

Nursing involves the identification, assessment, and treatment of patient responses to actual or potential health problems. The Registered Nurse (RN) utilizes planning, systematic action, evaluation, and communication skills to effectively provide care, treatment, counseling, and health education to ill or injured people. In addition, nurses are educated to advocate for and to promote optimal wellness of individuals as well as diverse populations in the community. Rivier University nursing majors learn to assess patients’ biological, physical and emotional needs, so as to understand their unique complexities in order to develop and implement effective individualized plans of care. Nurses learn to use the information to facilitate patient recovery, independence, and a return to optimal levels of functioning. Rapid changes in the health care system, emerging technological advances, and cultural shifts toward health and wellness have worked to broaden the scope of nursing career opportunities. Rivier University nursing majors achieve a liberal arts and sciences foundation, which serves to enhance career opportunities requiring solid communication and critical thinking skills. Visit Rivier’s Department of Nursing and Health Professions for information on degrees and course offerings.

Nursing Major Skills

Oral & Written Communication
Problem- Solving
Analyze & Synthesize Complex Data
Interpersonal Skills
Physical Stamina
Administer Medications/
Visual Monitoring
Data Recording/Reporting
Information Gathering & Handling
Work Well Under Stress
Prioritize Multiple Tasks
Knowledge of Human & Group Behavior

Critical Thinking
Manual Dexterity
Quick Decision Making
Measure Vital Signs
Operate Medical Equipment
Provide Medical Care
Utilize Information Systems
Knowledge of Science, Medicine & Ethics

Clinical experiences offer Rivier nursing students exposure to a variety of health care settings. In addition, students are encouraged to research and reflect upon specialty areas and particular settings of interest. For example, a student with a special interest in critical care nursing or school nursing or pediatric nursing can request a related clinical preceptorship experience as part of the baccalaureate program of studies. Upon graduation, the student can then seek positions which will advance his/her skills and lead towards intended goals.

Career Paths in Nursing

Career options for RNs vary by setting and area of concentration. In-patient career options include hospital based nursing, nursing administration, case management and risk management, and education. Out-patient career options include home care, long-term care, cardiac rehabilitation, school nursing, hospice care, public health nursing, and occupational health careers. Non-traditional career options include insurance, law, sales, consulting and entrepreneurship. Careful career planning can help nursing majors make the most of their education. Typically, a bachelor’s degree and further graduate study are necessary to pursue certain specialties including Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Midwife, and Nurse Practitioner, as well as advanced positions in health care administration, research, and higher education. Graduate nursing programs offered at Rivier include Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Specialist, and Nursing Education.

Nursing graduates may work as . . .
(The following are titles from across the industry. Some of these jobs may require education or experience beyond a bachelor’s degree.)
In-Patient and Out-Patient Career Options:

Nursing Careers
Critical Care
Emergency Room
Flight Trauma
Infection Control
Psychiatric (child and adult)
Prenatal Specialist
Labor and Delivery
Chemical Dependency
Organ Transplantation
Trauma Center
Private Duty
Nurse Anesthetist
Nurse Practitioner
Diabetes Nurse
Nurse Midwife
Office Nurse (general and specialties)
Operative Room Nurse

Case Management and Patient Care Advocacy
Intake Coordinator
Case Manager
Discharge Planner

Professional and Patient Education 
CPR Training
Advanced Cardiac Life Support
Pediatric Advanced Life Support
Neonatal Advanced Life Support
Rehabilitation Nurse Educator

Home Care Nursing
Hospice Care
IV Therapy
Fetal Monitoring
Case Manager
Home Health Care Supervisor

Psychiatric Nursing
Chemical Dependency/Drug Rehab Nurse
Chronic Psychiatric Care
Acute Psychiatric Care

Nurse Managers
Administrator (nursing services)
Staff Educator
Health Center Manager
Risk Management Coordinator

Long Term Care Nursing
Long-term Care
End of Life Care
Alzheimer’s Care
Assisted Living Care
Sub acute Rehabilitation Care

Cardiac Rehabilitation
Stress/Behavior Management Educator
Nutrition and Lifestyle Educator/Counselor

Community Education
Wellness Educator
Weight Management
Nutritional Educator
Stress Management
Prenatal Education
Basic Life Support (CPR)

Rehabilitation Nursing
Head Injury Care
Stroke/Cardiac Care
Respiratory Care

Other Options
Forensic Nurse
Public Health Nurse
School Nurse
Military Nurse

Business Career Options:

Quality Assurance Manager
Utilization of Services Reviewer
Occupational Health Clinic Nurse
Industrial Health Nurse
Worker’s Compensation Nurse
Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant
Telephone Triage Service Coordinator
Sales Representative (Medical/ Pharmaceutical products)
In-Service Product Trainer

Nurse Consultant
Medical-Legal Nurse Consultant
Clinical Nursing Instructor (Higher Ed)
Professor of Nursing (Higher Ed)
Researcher (Clinical and Non-Clinical)
Nursing Informatics Specialist
Professional Nursing Association Officer
Public Health Nurse
Writer/ Editor

  Nursing graduates may work at . . .

Hospitals/Health Clinics
Physicians’ Offices
Government Agencies
Schools & Camps
Colleges & Universities
Community Nursing Centers
Long Term Care Facilities
Mental Health Centers
Senior Centers
World Health Care Organizations
Wellness Centers
Rehabilitation Agencies
Community Agencies
Business & Industry
Pharmaceutical Companies
Medical Corporations
Private Research

Insurance Companies
Fitness Centers
Consulting Firms
Professional Nursing Associations
Recovery Centers
Out-Patient Clinics
Home Health Care Agencies
Nursing & Retirement
Managed Care
Public Health Services
Recreational Facilities
Hospice Organizations
Medical/Health Publications
Medical Products/
Out-Patient Surgical Centers

  Ways to Increase Employability:

  • Pursue elective course work or additional training related to one’s professional field of interest.
  • Participate in volunteer and service learning opportunities.
  • Become an active student member of university, community, or professional organizations, which enhance leadership skills and promote networking relationships with fellow professionals.
  • Obtain quality practical experience prior to graduation through relevant part-time, full-time, and summer job positions.

Sources of Information on Majors, Careers and Employment in Nursing:

  • Rivier University Faculty Advisors, Academic Advisors, & Chemistry Department Resources
  • Professionals Working in the Field
  • Professional Organizations

Professional & Rivier University Organizations Related to Nursing:

Career Related Websites for Nursing Majors: